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Lorenzo Musetti lifts his first ATP Challenger Tour trophy in Forli, Italy.

Challenger First-Time Winner Spotlight: Lorenzo Musetti

18-year-old Italian speaks to ATPTour.com after winning his first ATP Challenger Tour title in Forli

Italy's newest star has his first trophy. One week after announcing his arrival in Rome, Lorenzo Musetti celebrated his maiden title on the ATP Challenger Tour. Musetti was a force all week in Forli, culminating in a 7-6(2), 7-6(5) win over World No. 89 Thiago Monteiro on Saturday. It was a magical week for the Italian teen, who lifted his first piece of silverware in emphatic fashion.

At the age of of 18 years and six months, Musetti is the fifth-youngest Italian champion in Challenger history. Only Jannik Sinner's three titles in 2019 and Stefano Pescosolido's triumph in Parioli in 1989 came at a younger age.

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Musetti speaks with ATPTour.com following his breakthrough win...

(1) Lore, congrats on winning your first Challenger title. How does it feel? This must be a special moment.
Of course it is. It's the first time I win a title and it's amazing to do it in Italy. It's also my first time in Forli and it's a MEF Tennis Events tournament. I love to play these events. I'm really happy with this week.

(2) To win your first title is never easy, especially beating four Top 100 players. What was the key this week?
The key was to play every point and to focus on myself, not the player on the other side of the net. I played against Thiago Monteiro, Frances Tiafoe, Andreas Seppi and Lloyd Harris, who are all Top 100 players. But I also think that my week in Rome was important for this, to give me confidence.

(3) Talk about the final. Did you feel nervous today?
Yes, I did. The conditions were not as good and there was a lot of wind. It was 7-6, 7-6 in more than two hours against Thiago, who is a tough guy. He's a lefty too. I was a little bit nervous, but in the end I managed the pressure and won two tie-breaks. I think I played a good match.

(4) After a big week on the ATP Tour, it is not easy to come back to the Challengers. How did you stay so focused after Rome?
I had two days off after Rome, because I was so tired. I also had a little problem with my shoulder. It wasn't easy, but I just played every point and tried to focus on every single detail that makes the difference.

 

(5) You are playing your best tennis since the COVID break. How do you explain your success this month?
In quarantine I trained every day physically. I stopped for one month, but when I started again I had even more energy and more power. In that time I missed a lot of tennis, but I wanted to go full power when I came back. That's what I did and it has helped me a lot.

(6) In your opinion, how important is a week like this as you continue to develop and grow?
It's really important because winning a Challenger is not easy. This week was very tough. I had a lot of ups and downs. I lost one set against Tiafoe and was one break down in the third set, but I came back. And yesterday, against Harris, I was one set down and I came back. Every time I think the key is the mental part and I think I grew a lot there.

(7) Tell us about your time in Forli. How nice was the tournament?
Playing these tournaments in Italy is always unbelievable. [Tournament director] Marcello Marchesini works so hard and knows how to treat the players. He knows how to organize everything very well. I really enjoyed playing here and there was a crowd cheering for me, so I'm very happy to win my first title here.

(8) There was a crowd this week. Did it feel like normal? Did they give you energy?
There was a nice crowd this week and they were cheering for me. They always support me in every match, so they for sure gave me the energy to win this trophy.

(9) You started the year outside the Top 300 and now you are close to the Top 100. How special would this be, to be Top 100 in 2020?
Now it's my goal. At first, my goal was to reach the Top 150 position in the rankings. I am already there. I will try to end the season with more points and an even better ranking. I want to be Top 100.

(10) What are your plans for the rest of the year? Will you play in Parma?
I will play in Parma for sure. Also the ATP 250 in Sardinia. Let's see if I enter in some other 250s. I will try to play in high-level tournaments for the rest of the season.


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